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UCAN find a special new home

09 December 2009

UCAN Productions, the award winning Welsh performance arts cooperative for blind and partially sighted young people has been offered a wonderful new home for their regular drama workshops.

The company, which provides opportunities for the young people to learn about drama and acting along with the technical and artistic aspects of theatre such as lighting and sound, will now be based in Cardiff University’s state-of-the-art School of Optometry & Vision Sciences for its weekly workshops.

Jane Latham, Development Manager of UCAN Productions, said: "This is a perfect example of how arts and science can work together, and we are extremely grateful to the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences for allowing us to use their wonderful building. It's a perfect place for us to get together and a wonderful opportunity for our young people to meet and build relationships with the students and visual impairment specialists."

Dr Christine Purslow, Director for Innovation & Engagement at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, said: "We are really pleased to have these talented young people joining our community in the School. We look forward to a long, supportive partnership and the opportunities for our own budding optometrists to work on some joint theatre projects."

The UCAN drama shop will meet every Friday at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.

1. For more information about UCAN Productions visit:

2. Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Sciences
Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is the only optometric training department in Wales and one of the largest in the UK. Pioneering research is carried out at the School to further understand the cause, prevention and treatment of a wide spectrum of vision conditions.
The School has an outstanding record of achievement. Teaching provision has been independently assessed as ‘excellent’ and it is ranked among the top optometry schools in the UK in the latest government assessment of research quality. The School also plays a vital role in the provision of continuing professional development for optometrists and general practitioners through its Postgraduate Centre.
In addition to teaching and research, the School provides specialist clinical services for patients across Wales who have special educational needs, diabetes, glaucoma, epilepsy, low vision, partial sight or blindness. At the School’s extensively-equipped public Eye Clinic, patients can choose to be seen by a resident optometrist or a supervised final year optometry student.
In May 2007 the School moved into a custom designed state-of-the-art £21M building which is now home to all school teaching, research and outreach activities.

3. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Visit the University website at:

Lowri Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
T: 02920 870 995